6 Things to Know About Textbooks for Online Courses

usnews | January 15, 2019

When Regina Kizer took online nursing classes in two graduate nursing degree programs, she bought textbooks in all different formats.“I've tried eBooks; I've tried Kindle. I've tried purchasing them in hardback, and I've rented them as well,” says the 45-year-old Oklahoma resident, who earned a nursing master’s and doctoral degree from Frontier Nursing University.She says the decision to buy or rent textbooks – either from the school or elsewhere – in part boiled down to whether she planned to continue using the textbook as a career resource once a class finished. If so, she typically chose to purchase textbooks, often in print.“There’s something about having a book in front of you where you can flip through the pages and go to the information that you need,” says Kizer, though she acknowledges that individual students’ preferences will vary.If a student is simply fulfilling general education requirements as an undergraduate, Kizer says, it may make more sense to rent textbooks.

Spotlight

What is microlearning and why does it matter? Gnowbe CEO and Founder So-Young Kang, breaks down the concept that’s taking the learning industry by storm. Gnowbe is a pioneering mobile microlearning and engagement solution to help the modern workforce learn faster and better.

Spotlight

What is microlearning and why does it matter? Gnowbe CEO and Founder So-Young Kang, breaks down the concept that’s taking the learning industry by storm. Gnowbe is a pioneering mobile microlearning and engagement solution to help the modern workforce learn faster and better.

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EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY

Don Johnston Incorporated Joins Texthelp Group; Edtech Giants Join Forces to Help Students Across North America and the Globe

Texthelp | January 11, 2022

Texthelp, a global leader in literacy and accessibility technology, today announced that they will acquire the Education Technology Division of Don Johnston Inc., a leading assistive technology and special education curriculum company based outside of Chicago, IL. Don Johnston Inc. is the latest Assistive Technology provider to join the Texthelp Group. Following Five Arrows' investment in December 2020, Texthelp acquired Lingit Group and Wizkids in 2021, expanding the company's reach in the Nordics and the UK. Texthelp's goal is to use its assistive technology to help 1 billion people with reading, writing, and numeracy by 2030. Together with Don Johnston Inc.'s leading SaaS-based products, the Texthelp Group will become the global leader in assistive technology tools for classrooms and workplaces. The terms of the deal were not disclosed. One in ten people have dyslexia, and in the US, 12% of students are in special education, 15% of children at school are learning their 2nd language, and the average reading age is 7th to 8th grade. Using assistive tools has been proven to help students overcome these barriers and harness their unique strengths. Both Texthelp and Don Johnston Inc. have made it their mission to support equality and inclusion of all people, especially individuals with dyslexia and other learning needs. Together, Texthelp and Don Johnston Inc. will continue to offer their full suite of products, and customers will see the benefit of collaborative technology innovation between the companies within the first few weeks. Don Johnston Inc.'s curriculum division will form a new company, named Building Wings™, which includes the products Readtopia® and First Author®. "Texthelp and Don Johnston Inc. share a common vision of a world where every student can feel what it is like to learn and succeed. Don and I founded our organizations for deeply personal reasons. We have an incredibly similar mission to elevate as many students as possible, helping them both understand and be understood. We are so excited to have Don Johnston Inc. join the Texthelp Group, and to have Don as an investor and board member. Our combined teams and expanded portfolio of products will allow us to give millions more students in the US and across the globe the best possible start in life and help them fulfill their full potential. Along with the Don Johnston team, we will continue to innovate and develop our suite of products to create the best assistive technology tools available." Martin McKay, CEO and founder of Texthelp For more than 40 years, Don Johnston Inc. has developed technology tools and curriculum that have helped students and educators build literacy skills. The company's support and accessible technology is designed to accommodate children and adults with special needs and learning disabilities. Since its inception, Don Johnston Inc. has helped over 32,000 schools through technologies, implementation, and personal connections. "Don Johnston Inc. and Texthelp have worked in parallel in the edtech sector for decades. We share so many commonalities," said Don Johnston, CEO of Don Johnston Inc. "Fundamentally, we are both unified by a mission to help as many students as possible learn and succeed. I strongly believe that together we can achieve more, and I am excited to see what the future holds. My new role on the board of the Texthelp Group will allow me to continue to drive forward our shared vision. This is also an opportunity for our curriculum tools to forge their own path as a new organization, Building Wings. I am passionate about the role curriculum has to play in helping students, and I will maintain a leadership position with Building Wings as CEO." Texthelp and Don Johnston Inc. will work together to expand product innovation and help many more people fulfill their potential, beginning in classrooms and extending through to the workplace. The two organizations will combine their teams and products to create the best technology available to students, educators, and employees. Texthelp will add Don Johnston's Snap&Read™, Co:Writer®, Word Bank™, Quizbot® and uPAR™ tools to its suite of products and all employees of Don Johnston's Education Technology Division will become Texthelp employees. About Texthelp Founded in 1996, the Texthelp Group is a global technology company. On a daily basis, it helps people all over the world to understand and to be understood. For the last three decades, it has led the way in creating innovative education and workplace technology. Texthelp believes in a world where difference, disability, or language are no longer barriers. It is focused on helping all people learn, understand, and communicate through the use of digital literacy and accessibility software. With over 50 million users worldwide, the Texthelp suite of products includes Read&Write, EquatIO®, WriQ®, Fluency Tutor®, ReachDeck®, and SpeechStream®. These tools work alongside existing platforms such as Microsoft Office and G-suite. This allows for its products to be quickly integrated into any classroom or workplace with ease. Visit www.texthelp.com for more information. About Don Johnston Inc. Since 1980, Don Johnston Inc. has been a staple of the accessibility community, partnering with literacy experts, AT specialists, SLPs, OTs, and special education directors to develop popular assistive and evaluative tools including Co:Writer®, Snap&Read™, uPAR®, Word Bank™ and Quizbot®. Students across North America with dyslexia, autism, dysgraphia, and other diverse learning challenges rely on Don Johnston Inc. assistive tools every day to accommodate their learning needs in schools and at home. Education isn't the end of the transformation, it's only the beginning. Don Johnston Inc. tools open up possibilities right through the education journey and into the workplace. Visit https://learningtools.donjohnston.com/ for more information. About Five Arrows Five Arrows Principal Investments (FAPI) and Five Arrows Capital Partners (FACP) (together, "Five Arrows") are the European and US corporate private equity arms, respectively, of Rothschild & Co's Merchant Banking business. Five Arrows is focused on investing in middle-market companies with highly defensible market positions; strong management teams; business models with high visibility of organic unit volume growth and strong free cash flow conversion; and multiple operational levers that can be used to unlock latent value. The sector focus at Five Arrows is limited to healthcare, data & software and technology-enabled business services.

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EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY

Instructure to Acquire Kimono to Expand Integration and Interoperability with the Instructure Cloud-based Learning Platform

Instructure Holdings, Inc. | November 09, 2021

Instructure Holdings, Inc. (Instructure) today announced it has entered into an agreement to acquire Kimono, a leader in cloud-based data integration and interoperability for education. A long-time partner, and preferred integration solution of Canvas LMS, Kimono will be rebranded as Elevate Data Sync as it joins the Instructure Learning Platform. Elevate Data Sync is a solution built specifically for education that enables secure syncing of student, staff, and learning data across applications within a school environment. "The acquisition underscores Instructure's vision of building education's most integrated platform and demonstrates our deep commitment to openness. We want to give schools the freedom of choice to connect with their preferred applications. By incorporating Kimono's adaptable, cloud-based integration and interoperability solution as Elevate Data Sync, we strengthen our ability to more seamlessly connect users with the applications they love." Steve Daly, CEO of Instructure Based in Salt Lake City, Utah, the team at Kimono has over 20 years of experience developing integration solutions for K-12 and higher education. The company serves six state education agencies, over 2300 districts, 27,000 schools and universities, and more than 16 million students globally. The move extends Instructure's learning data integration and rostering capabilities for student information systems (SIS). With bi-directional sharing, Elevate Data Sync ensures data, grades, and rosters stay synchronized between edtech applications and student information systems (SIS). Schools ensure the accuracy, security, and accessibility with complete control of their integrations—sharing only the data elements they choose and only with the applications they authorize. Because Elevate Data Sync is standards-agnostic, it supports industry-standard data models and protocols—such as OneRoster, LIS, SIF, APIs, and CSV—and also offers the flexibility to meet needs of schools and applications. "We developed an adaptable, cloud-based platform that is the most comprehensive education interoperability solution available," said Steve Curtis, CEO of Kimono. "Adding that technology to the Instructure Learning Platform will accelerate Instructure's plans to provide broad support and deeper integration points to the platform for thousands of edtech providers globally. As a result, schools and higher education institutions will be further empowered to craft the digital learning environment that meets the unique needs of their students." The Instructure Learning Platform is an open, reliable, and extensible learning ecosystem enabling a digital learning environment for educators, students, and institutions. The platform is made up of several key pillars—such as learning management, assessment, and analytics —that work together to enrich, support, and connect every aspect of teaching and learning. Elevate Data Sync will be a vital part of the platform, driving interoperability and ease of use. ABOUT INSTRUCTURE Instructure is an education technology company dedicated to elevating student success, amplifying the power of teaching, and inspiring everyone to learn together. Today the Instructure Learning Platform supports more than 30 million educators and learners around the world.

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EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY

Penn Foster secures investment to accelerate the pairing of data science with digital learning based on skills.

prnewswire | January 21, 2021

Labor force improvement pioneer Penn Foster today declared a critical new speculation from BayPine and Two Sigma Impact to quicken the form out of its computerized learning stage zeroed in on planning frontline laborers to flourish inside high-development, high-expertise occupations. The two speculation organizations will band together with Penn Foster to acquire new capacities information science and trend setting innovation to help the organization keep on contribution down to earth, reasonable answers for its understudies. "Skill gaps and economic mobility are, in many ways, two sides of the same coin," said Frank Britt, Chief Executive Officer of Penn Foster. "This investment reflects our belief that the combination of advanced labor market analytics with low-cost digital training can help individuals make better-informed decisions about their educational investments. It's about enabling employers to close skill gaps by identifying and creating career paths for historically untapped talent." A computerized learning stage that works in association with bosses, public labor force offices, and local area based associations, Penn Foster conveys expertise based preparing for in excess of 300,000 working students every year. Notwithstanding offering authorize projects and declarations in fields going from medical care to talented exchanges, Penn Foster accomplices with significant managers, including Lowe's and Walmart, to give secondary school recognition and vocation instructional classes that are regularly entrances to higher pay jobs. "Two Sigma Impact believes that by focusing on creating a better workforce, we can create long term value and better business outcomes," said Ian Blasco, Partner at Two Sigma Impact. "We are excited to work with Penn Foster to apply advanced data science techniques to the development of dynamic, skills-based training that is tightly coupled with the demands of the labor market." "For decades, Penn Foster has been at the forefront of delivering flexible, affordable, and job-relevant development programs that have redefined the intersection of education and work," said Anjan Mukherjee, Managing Partner at BayPine. "The implementation of digital transformation initiatives to unlock human potential is core to our thesis, and we look forward to working closely with management to develop a modern, agile platform at Penn Foster that leverages the power of data to drive better outcomes for working learners." In "Unstuck in the Middle," a white paper delivered by Penn Foster a year ago, the organization put forth the defense that perceiving ability fulfillment along a range could open financial versatility for laborers utilized in positions that require in excess of a secondary school confirmation however not a long term degree. As per the National Skills Coalition, while center ability occupations make up the biggest segment of the US work market, only 44% of laborers are right now prepared to the center expertise level. A new report distributed by the philanthropic, Opportunity@Work, proposes that the assessed 71 million Americans who need four-year degrees, however are "Gifted Through Alternative Routes" (STARs), speak to an undiscovered pool of ability for US bosses. "The critical need for different ways to approach training and education for workers has become more prominent in the past few years, and the pressure on our economy created by the pandemic has only emphasized that the time has come for a workforce transformation," said Ann Ruble, Operating Partner at Two Sigma Impact. "New data-driven approaches to learning will help expand access to training in high-demand fields for both workers and employers at a time when it is needed most." This speculation speaks to the following period of Penn Foster's development following an effective organization with Bain Capital Double Impact, the effect contributing unit of Bain Capital. Terms of the exchange were not unveiled. Macquarie Capital filled in as monetary guide and William Blair and Company as co-consultant to Penn Foster. Everberg Capital additionally partook in the exchange. Jamieson gave exchange the board guidance.

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